Dawn Wells

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her nearly two-hour Archive interview, Dawn Wells reflects upon her career on the stage and on the big and small screens.  Still recognized as the wholesome Mary Ann Summers from Gilligan's Island, Ms. Wells describes what the show means to her and takes us behind the scenes of several memorable episodes, including "The Matchmaker," in which Mrs. Howell attempts to set up Mary Ann and Gilligan. Ms. Wells discusses her experience as a member of the Foreign Press, interviewing celebrities for press junkets, and details her involvement with the Children's Miracle Network Telethon, a cause near and dear to her heart.  She speaks about the creation of her clothing line, Wishing Wells, and comments on the question many have now pondered for decades, "Do you prefer Ginger or Mary Ann?" Steven Wishnoff conducted the interview on December 23, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA.

"There hasn't been a Mary Ann on the air for I don't know how long.  There hasn't been a good girl over 14, and Mary Ann was very much that. The Mary Ann-Ginger issue is always there. You had to be a real man to understand Ginger, and Mary Ann would've gone to the prom with you and been your best friend. A lot of guys would come up to me and say I married a Mary Ann. She had the values."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
On the legendary question of one's preference, "Ginger or Mary Ann?"
On why the Professor and Mary Ann were credited as "the rest" on Gilligan's Island
On the legacy of Gilligan's Island
Dawn Wells on her Gilligan's Island character, Mary Ann Summers, as a role model
On how the Coast Guard received telegrams asking them to rescue the people stranded on Gilligan's Island
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her childhood and early influences
On being Miss Nevada and on her first television appearance -- on the Miss America pageant; on game shows she was on
On Gilligan's Island
On other TV shows and productions she's done

Chapter 2

On working as part of the Foreign Press and interviewing celebrities
On her clothing line, Wishing Wells; and on the Children's Miracle Network Telethon
On teaching acting; on the Spud Fest Family Film Festival
On the next chapter of her life; on her proudest moment; on her regrets and advice to actors
On colleagues, TV shows and on films she's worked on
On her current projects and how she'd like to be remembered
On setting the record straight about a car accident she was in; on celebrity
Shows

77 Sunset Strip

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Dawn Wells on working on 77 Sunset Strip

ALF

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Dawn Wells on working on ALF

Baywatch

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Dawn Wells on working on Baywatch

Bonanza

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Dawn Wells on working on Bonanza

Family Feud

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Dawn Wells on the game shows she's been on

Gilligan's Island

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Dawn Wells on working on Gilligan's Island
Dawn Wells on Sherwood Schwartz's composition of the Gilligan's Island theme song
Dawn Wells on how Gilligan's Island changed her life
Dawn Wells on the matchmaking episode of Gilligan's Island in which Mrs. Howell tries to set up Mary Ann and Gilligan
Dawn Wells on the "V is for Vitamins" episode of Gilligan's Island

Gilligan's Island: "The Matchmaker"

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Dawn Wells on the matchmaking episode of Gilligan's Island in which Mrs. Howell tries to set up Mary Ann and Gilligan

Gilligan's Island: "V is for Vitamins"

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Dawn Wells on the "V is for Vitamins" episode of Gilligan's Island

Growing Pains

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Dawn Wells on guest starring on Growing Pains
Dawn Wells on working on Growing Pains

Hollywood Squares, The

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Dawn Wells on being on Hollywood Squares

Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The

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Dawn Wells on Bob Denver's "Maynard" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis  

Password

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Dawn Wells on the game shows she's been on

Pyramid (2002)

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Dawn Wells on playing Pyramid, the Donny Osmond version

Rescue From Gilligan's Island

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Dawn Wells on the Rescue from Gilligan's Island TV movie

Roseanne

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Dawn Wells on working on Roseanne

Survivor

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Dawn Wells on if she believes Gilligan's Island had anything to do with the creation of Survivor

Wild Wild West, The

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Dawn Wells on working with Robert Conrad on The Wild, Wild West and doing stage work
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Dawn Wells on proper attire and behavior for the characters on Gilligan's Island according to Standards & Practices

Characters & Catchphrases

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Dawn Wells on her Gilligan's Island character, Mary Ann Summers
Dawn Wells on the short shorts worn by her Gilligan's Islan d character, Mary Ann Summers
Dawn Wells on her Gilligan's Island character, Mary Ann Summers, as a role model
Dawn Wells on the question of one's preference, "Ginger or Mary Ann?"
Dawn Wells on the evolution of Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island

Comedy

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Dawn Wells on her favorite episodes of Gilligan's Island
Dawn Wells on the "V is for Vitamins" episode of Gilligan's Island
Dawn Wells on the matchmaking episode of Gilligan's Island in which Mrs. Howell tries to set up Mary Ann and Gilligan

Criticism of TV

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Dawn Wells on her reaction to critics of Gilligan's Island and on the cancellation of the show

Fame and Celebrity

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Dawn Wells on her fan mail from Gilligan's Island fame

TV Theme Songs

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Dawn Wells on Sherwood Schwartz's composition of the Gilligan's Island theme song
Professions

Actress

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Dawn Wells on wanting to be an actress
Dawn Wells on teaching acting; on the Spud Fest Family Film Festival
Genres

Comedy Series

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Dawn Wells on Gilligan's Island
Dawn Wells on Gilligan's Island
People

Jim Backus

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Dawn Wells on Jim Backus, "Thurston Howell III" on Gilligan's Island

Joey Bishop

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Dawn Wells on working with Joey Bishop

Hal Cooper

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Dawn Wells on TV director Hal Cooper

Joseph Cotten

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Dawn Wells on working with Joseph Cotten

Bob Denver

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Dawn Wells on "Gilligan," Bob Denver
Dawn Wells on a typical week working on Gilligan's Island

Richard Donner

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Dawn Wells on TV director Dick Donner

Barbara Eden

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Dawn Wells on friend Barbara Eden

Alan Hale, Jr.

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Dawn Wells on Alan Hale, Jr. ,"the Skipper" on Gilligan's Island

Tom Hanks

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Dan Wells on interviewing Tom Hanks

Russell Johnson

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Dawn Wells on Russel Johnson, "Professor Roy Hinkley" on Gilligan's Island

Tina Louise

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Dawn Wells on Tina Louise, "Ginger" on Gilligan's Island

Ida Lupino

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Dawn Wells on Ida Lupino, one of the first female TV directors

Eddie Murphy

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Dan Wells on interviewing Eddie Murphy

Dana Plato

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Dawn Wells on Dana Plato playing her daughter in the movie Return to Boggy Creek

John Rich

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Dawn Wells on TV director John Rich

Roseanne

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Dawn Wells on working with Roseanne

Natalie Schafer

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Dawn Wells on Natalie Schafer, "Mrs. Lovey Howell" on Gilligan's Island
Dan Wells on Natalie Schafer modeling for Wells' clothing line

Sherwood Schwartz

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Dawn Wells on how her credit was changed after the first season of Gilligan's Island
Dawn Wells on Gilligan's Island creator/showrunner, Sherwood Schwartz
Dawn Wells on Gilligan's Island creator/showrunner, Sherwood Schwartz
Dawn Wells on her friendship with the family of Gilligan's Island creator/showrunner, Sherwood Schwartz

Phil Silvers

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Dawn Wells on Phil Silvers on Gilligan's Island

Adam West

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Dawn Wells on working with Adam West

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